Ben Kilbey in LondonThe CTO came together yesterday to give a press conference relaying the fact that the Caribbean is ‘open for business’ following the recent havoc caused by excessive Hurricane activity in the region. Ministerial representatives from The Cayman Islands, Grenada, The Bahamas,
Dominican Republic and Jamaica were all in attendance.
Brenda Hood, Minister of Tourism for Grenada, made it clear that the country, which lost some two thirds of its homes and numerous heritage sites, is getting back on track. “The fact that we are here at World Travel Market means that our country is moving forward - we are out of the recover period and on to reconstruction period.”
McKevva Bush, Minister of Tourism for Cayman, announced that as of Nov. 20 the fierce travel restrictions to Gran Cayman will be lifted, “we are really looking forward to welcoming people back - we are in the process of devising a fantastic summer program for ‘05, of which details will be released in Jan.” He went on to thank British Airways for being the first airline to come back.
Talking of Grenada Pamela Richards, chairperson of the CTO, stated that, “when I arrived on Grenada it wasn’t the destruction that overwhelmed me but more so the smiles on the peoples faces - there is really a sense of resilience.”
Hon. Hood went onto explain; “we are the spice of the Caribbean and we will continue to be the spice of the Caribbean.” She outlined that even though the spice industry had been badly hit there are enough Nutmeg reserves for the next three years.
Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace - the Director of Tourism for the Bahamas summed things up very clearly for the Bahamas, “Hurricane - what Hurricane?”
Both Jamaica and the Dom Rep are expecting a massive boost in rooms over the next couple of years - with the Dominican Republic edging away from its mainstay of the massive all-inclusive model. Over all there was one over riding message to be gained - the Caribbean really is ‘open for business.’